This is part of a tropical vegetable garden that typically starts in germinating trays of 30 - 2” holes each, on November/December each year. The garden is located 4 miles due east of the city of Mayaguez, West coast Puerto Rico, at about 800 feet in altitude, with six to seven months of rain that start in April and extend to November, December. Therefore the initiation of the germination process in November/December. Things being planted include; Swiss Chard, broccoli, Bok-Choi, three varieties of tomatoes (to make and can, tomato sauce), eggplant, okra, cabbage, cucumbers, peppers. The plot is tilled to a depth of 8 inches, two raised beds are then formed, 25 feet by 5 feet each. Four hundred pounds of compost go to each raised bed, on two different occasions (800 in total), before things are planted and while they grow in the germinating trays. Average temperature and humidity are quite high and organic matter is very quickly digested by microorganism. Drip irrigation is a must during the dry season (stored rain water) while only a few sturdy vegetables are grown during the rainy season. A mixture of three volumes of leaves and one volume of grass is the typical formula for the compost. No other fertilizer is used and no chemicals are utilized for diseases and or pests control. Not only do we get quality vegetables free of foreign chemicals, the taste and texture are something to behold. A significant reduction in the food bill is also a very attractive aspect of growing at least part of our “food basket”. Not to mention the niceties of being outdoors in this lush green tropical environment.
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